How To Be A Pen Pal
Have you ever considered having a pen pal? I’ve known quite a few people that had pen pals when they were kids, but then grew out of it. However, having a pen pal as an adult is a great way to further your knowledge of other cultures and circumstances. I joined Interpals.net eight years ago, and while I’m not as active on it as I once was, I truly enjoyed the experience. If you’ve ever considered it, then please continue reading this post for my Do’s and Don’ts to the pen pal experience.
The first thing I have to point out if you’re thinking of joining a pen pal matchup site is that your security is in your own hands. That means being very careful what information you place on your profile, as it could lead to an unscrupulous person harming you in some way. Something as simple as using a picture that might show your home address or mentioning your employer for anyone to see could be extremely dangerous. Common sense facts like not giving out your social security number (if you have one) or credit card info should be exactly that, common sense.
The best policy, right? One thing that I think helped me to connect with some really great people during my time on Interpals is that I was honest about myself and what I was on the site for. As with other social media sites, there are always people out there with nefarious reasons why they want to interact with you. Even before my marriage, I made it clear that I was not on that site to look for a husband. If that is what you’re looking for, then Interpals does give you the option to search for romantic relationships, but I would take caution in case you meet a weirdo.
Keep In Touch!
This point is a very tough one for me, as not following this dictate cost me a very dear friend. We all know that things happen in our lives that force us to not meet up with our best intentions. In my case, a very busy work schedule along with meeting my husband through an online matching site caused me to totally neglect my friends. When I basically fell off the grid, I was corresponding with one lady in Australia and one in Bavaria, both of whom were completely amazing! I have tried to reach back out to them, but I really can’t blame them for not wanting to return my correspondence. If you start a pen pal relationship with someone, then stick to your word when you say that you’ll be consistent in your communication with them!
Snail Mail vs Email
I’m not sure about other sites, but on Interpals, you can choose between whether or not you want to correspond with people via regular “snail” mail or only through email. In connection with my above point, it’s very important to make sure that the person you’re talking to wants to correspond the same way you do. This was the big mistake I made with the friend from Bavaria I mentioned above. She only wanted to correspond via regular mail, and preferred handwritten mail. While I wouldn’t have minded doing this every once in a while, doing it all the time was very difficult for me. Not only did I have to make sure my handwriting was legible (very difficult with carpal tunnel syndrome), but I always had to make sure that I had the necessary amount of postage on hand to send to Germany. Long story short, if you really don’t want to have your only way of corresponding be through snail mail, then don’t set that person up as your pen pal!
Well, that’s my experience with having a pen pal, and what to do and don’t do if you think this might be a way for you to expand your circle of friends. This is not a sponsored post by Interpals, and I’ve only mentioned them because their site was the one I chose all those years ago. I’m sincerely hoping that my life settles down a bit in the next few months, so that I can hop back on Interpals and find a couple of new pen pals. If you’ve connected with pen pals, please comment and tell me how it went for you.